The magnitude of the task has not been faced up to, says Helen Thompson

Listen | 49:04

An agreement has been reached at Cop 28 that includes a commitment to phasing out the use of fossil fuels, with some hailing it as an historic moment in the struggle to mitigate climate change.

But an agreement is not a substitute for action, and the action required to achieve Net Zero by 2050 amounts to one of the most fundamental changes in all human history.

Geographic realities, such as the availability of materials vital to building green energy infrastructure, will help some regions overcome the problem more easily than others.

And as states each take different courses to secure their energy into the future, new new geopolitical alliances and tensions will be created.


On the level of domestic politics, the hard challenges of selling measures that curb access to cheap fossil fuel energy will not be solved by climate conference agreements.

To discuss all this Helen Thompson, a professor of political economy at Cambridge and an expert in the politics of energy, is today’s guest on the Inside Politics podcast with Hugh Linehan.

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